Synopsis: Sylvia Kristel is back, more sensual, more sensational and more beautiful than before! In this exquisite sequel, Emmanuelle embarks on an all-new journey of sexual discovery that takes her to the exotic Far East and a world where nothing is wrong if it feels good. Along the way, she will surrender to the forbidden desires of a women’s dormitory, the illicit ecstasy of interracial passion, the shocking rapture of a bordello orgy and beyond. But the most delectable pleasures are still to come, including the infamous bathhouse masseuse sequence (featuring the legendary Laura Gemser) and Emmanuelle’s daring seduction of a friend’s shy young daughter into the delights of a mÃ©nage Ã¡ trois!
Umberto Orsini co-stars in this acclaimed worldwide hit – known in America as Emmanuelle: The Joys Of A Woman – that fans and critics have called the most stylishly elegant and relentlessly erotic film in the series that changed sexy cinema forever.
eyelights: the gorgeous choreographed naughtiness. the beautiful bodies. the lovely settings.
eyesores: the weak performances. its lack of plot. the abrupt editing.
“I’ve no rights over Emmanuelle – if it pleases her, it pleases me.”
I’m no great fan of ‘Emmanuelle‘, the 1974 softcore phenomenon that swept the globe and made an instant star of Sylvia Kristel; it features sex, but it isn’t sexy, and simply isn’t an especially good film. But it’s an undisputed classic and it did spawn two direct sequels – plus an ever-growing series of spin-offs and related films. ‘Emmanuelle’ is a cultural icon.
And so I decided to watch the rest of the Sylvia Kristel trilogy of ‘Emmanuelle’ films.
In light of the tremendous success of the original, producer Yves Rousset-Rouard decided to make a follow-up picture. Sylvia Kristel and director Just Jaeckin had had a falling out and he moved on to his own project, ‘Histoire d’O‘, so Rousset-Rouard hired Francis Giacobetti, a French photographer known primarily for his work on the ‘Playboy’-inspired ‘Lui’ magazine.
‘Emmanuelle: L’antivierge’ was released in 1975 and made a splash, though not nearly as big of one as the original film did – no doubt partly due to the fact that it was rated X in its native country and thus wouldn’t be released until three years later – after the the film was reclassified as “16 and older”. It still got a worldwide release, however, beginning with the U.S.
‘Emmanuelle 2’ (as it was known in many markets) finds its titular heroine now joining her husband, Jean, in Hong Kong. Emmanuelle has matured since her initial adventures, becoming more elegant and womanly. She is also far more comfortable with their open relationship, exploring any sexual encounter that tickles her fancy – with men, women and even groups.
When she arrives, she discovers that Jean has had a tryst with a woman named Laura, who has invited them for a night out. On that evening out, they are treated to an erotic fan dance. Upon finding out that the producer’s daughter was supposed to star in it, but didn’t, Emmanuelle befriends the young woman. She will become Anna-Maria mentor in pleasures of the flesh.
She and Jean will, ultimately, take her virginity.
As one might imagine, ‘Emmanuelle: L’antivierge’ is hardly plot-driven; it’s merely a series of erotic scenes loosely connected by minor character development. Given its intended purpose, this is perfectly fine – no one would ever be expecting an ‘Emmanuelle’ movie to be a Merchant Ivory production. This is not going to be Jane Austen or Shakespeare, either.
And so the picture’s greatest achievement is the staging of some rather sexy bits:
- Emmanuelle seduces another female passenger, after they were both dumped in third class by mistake. Stuck in a large open space filled with cots, surrounded by half-naked bodies, the first woman confides her fears to Emmanuelle – who promptly goes about comforting her with some sexy embraces, including a little diddling. Yum.
- After a lengthy period of flirting that’s side-tracked by “urgent” business affairs, Jean and Emmanuelle finally make love for the first time since her return – beginning with her masturbating before him and followed by a series of beautifully-shot sexual positions. The build-up made this scene delicious, a total tease.
- Seeking a dress for their soirée with Laura, Emmanuelle takes Jean’s friend Christopher shopping. She winds up in an acupuncturist’s chair, with needles jutting out from her temples, bottom lip and breasts. She is so turned on that she fantasizes a smouldering encounter with Christopher – and masturbates right there. This was… wow.
- While visiting the dance school where Anna-Maria practices, Emmanuelle finds an animated viewfinder showing an erotic scene between two lesbians. While she’s getting turned on by the images, the dance teacher comes into the room and takes her from behind. We didn’t see much other than the look of ecstasy on her face. But that alone was plenty.
- Emmanuelle goes to see a polo match. While making a phone call, she sees a polo player undress, revealing not only a taut, muscular frame, but full-body tattoos. Fascinated, she goes to him and they have sex in a series of perfectly-staged and shot positions. Wow. But, mostly, it was the way she first touched and licked his chest that did it for me.
- Jean, Emmanuelle and Anna-Maria are sitting on a couch in the heat. To cool off, Emmanuelle has hiked her skirt in such a way as to get the fan’s breeze on her. The way she just sat there with her legs parted, joined by Anna-Maria, who always naively leaves her panties exposed, was a beautiful and sexy sight.
- The trio go for full body massages. And by “full body”, I mean naked, with the masseuses using their whole bodies to massage their clients. This was steaming HOT: a trio of beautiful bodies paired up with equally beautiful bodies, all oiled up, slowly cavorting and gyrating to climax. Anna-Maria’s newfound ecstasy was palpable.
- Christopher receives an urgent call and Emmanuelle goes to relay it to him at the Jade Garden, a local brothel. Though this is poorly-choreographed, especially some of the simulated sex, the sight of the many naked bodies filling each room and each angle of the camera, was well worth seeing. It was like a sea of sex.
- Jean, Emmanuelle and Anna-Maria finally hook up, in a delicious scene that made the whole movie worth watching – if there wasn’t already reason enough.
And that’s just the more notable ones.
Beyond the sexy bits, what I liked most were the discussions that Jean and Emmanuelle had with their friends about open relationships, how they viewed it and each other. It demands tremendous freedom and trust, something that’s quite rare. And yet, though she is comfortable exploring her sexuality, Emmanuelle was mildly insecure about Laura.
I also loved the setting and locations. Wow, Hong Kong and Bali are beautiful places; I loved seeing the long shots lingering on the all the sights. And Jean and Emmanuelle’s home is truly beautiful – not in a wealthy or palatial sense, but in a sort of exotic way, with its large rooms covered in wood paneling and filled with all sorts of wood furniture.
So, ultimately, I actually preferred ‘Emmanuelle: L’antivierge’ over its predecessor, which was an awkward production to say the least. Yes, there isn’t much meat on these bones and it remains flawed, but it’s much more competent. And, as for the erotic scenes go, I’d have to say that this picture completely outdoes the original. It’s staged, but smouldering.
You can feel the heat.
Date of viewing: October 12, 2016